news 21 Feb 12

Not Guilty Pleas in Silos War Camp Case

Seven Bosniaks accused of running three wartime prison camps, plead not guilty for the crimes committed against Bosnian Serb and Croat civilians and prisoners of war in the period between 1992 and 1996.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember pleaded not guilty on all counts, while Nezir Kazic will enter his plea after consultations with his lawyer.

Kazic said he did not understand the indictment, and that he did not have time to consult with his lawyer.  The second hearing will be scheduled so that he can enter his plea.

All eight indictees are charged with crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs and Croats held captive in the Silos camp in Tarcin, another camp in the Krupa army barracks, as well as detention facilities in the May 9th primary school in Pazaric.

State Prosecution believes that a large number of civilians and prisoners of war were held illegally and exposed to inhumane treatment, torture, deliberate infliction of grave bodily and emotional harm or suffering, and that they were denied right to fair trial and forced to labour.

According to the indictment, Mustafa Djelilovic was speaker of the Local Assembly in Hadzici and president of the Crisis Headquarters, and later War Presidency of the municipality of Hadzici; Fadil Covic was head of the Station of Public Security Hadzici and member of the Crisis Headquarters, while Mirsad Sabic was commander of the Police Station Pazaric.

Indictee Nezir Kazic was commander of the 9th Mountain Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Becir Hujic and Halid Covic were warden and deputy warden of the Silos camp respectively.

Serif Mesanovic was, according to the indictment, one of the deputy wardens in Silos and warden of the camp in the warehouse of the Krupa barracks, and Nermin Kalember was a guard in Silos.

The indictees have been held in custody since November 24th, 2011.

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Background

Timeline – Cuska Case

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlac in Kosovo in 1999.

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